Is everything we know about wine wrong?

Is everything we know about wine wrong? asks the headline of an article that appeared earlier this week in UK national newspaper The Telegraph. ‘No’ is the answer, and I’ll explain why this article gets it wrong.

Over the last couple of years, there have been quite a few articles in the national press about [...]

Some more old Pathé films on wine

A couple of weeks ago British Pathé released 85 000 of their archive films onto YouTube. So I did some digging around and came up with some more old Pathé films with a wine connection, following yesterday’s post with the two old Douro films.

From 1968, we have this lovely film of Madeira, the island of [...]

Feedback on my post on critics and style preferences

My recent post on whether or not wine critics can judge wines without their personal style preferences coming into play got quite a bit of reaction, both in the comments section, and also on Twitter. I thought it would be worthwhile looking at some of the responses.

Most of the comments agreed with my point of [...]

Wine and emotions

Yesterday I watched a film. It wasn’t a very good film, but it made me cry. As a bloke, this is hugely embarrassing. But there was something about the film that stirred my emotions.

What are emotions? What happens, physically, to cause tears to be released from the eyes? It’s all a bit odd, isn’t [...]

Judging the International Wine Challenge

So we are four days into judging the International Wine Challenge. Now, as a panel chair, contracted for all 10 days of judging, I am biased, but I think it’s the best and biggest blind tasting competition in the world.

Of course, not all wines enter. But well in excess of 10 000 do (the figure [...]

Should critics allow personal style preferences to influence their work?

Should wine critics allow personal stylistic preferences affect their judgments on wine?

I recently had a discussion on twitter with a respected US wine critic from a major publication, who kept emphasizing that personal stylistic preferences had no place in his ratings. He was quite insistent.

It’s a question I haven’t really considered before. I like the [...]

recently on wineanorak.com

For those who just look at this blog, here are some of the longer articles that I have posted on the main wineanorak site:

Weinbach: an amazing tasting at this star Alsace domaine
Newton Johnson: great wines from this Hemel-en-Aarde star
Malatinszky: reviewing this celebrated producer from Hungary’s Villany region
Vadio: impressive wines from Barraida, Portugal
Grand Burgundy tasting: at [...]

On the telly, exposing supermarket illusory price promotions

So on Friday, while I was still in Cape Town, the episode of Rip Off Britain that I took part in aired. If you have access to the BBC iPlayer, you can catch up with the show online until the end of next week (28 March). The wine segment is in two parts: the first [...]

Henry Jeffreys on wine book publishing (guest post)

I rarely permit guest posts, but here’s one from Henry Jeffreys, because he asked nicely, and I like his writing. It’s about wine book publishing and how it has changed of late, largely from a UK perspective:

I have a bit of thing about old wine books. I can’t resist picking them up no matter how [...]

Generalists versus specialists

For those of us making a living writing about wine, there’s a choice we have to make. Do we position ourselves as experts or generalists? Do we specialize in just a few areas, going deep, or do we try to maintain a global focus, covering all regions more generally?

For anyone starting out, I’d say focus [...]